WiFi Dabba, a Bengaluru-based start-up is providing access to internet at a starting price of just Rs 2 for 100MB. The 13-month old startup sells data as prepaid coupons that are available via tea stalls and local bakeries in the city as it costs as low as Rs. 2 for a 100MB token. The recharge packs have a validity of 24 hours.
WiFi Dabba was founded by Shubhendu Sharma and Karam Lakshman last year after the launch of Reliance Jio. Now, the company wants to change the data game started by Jio by offering even cheaper data plans. Jio gives 150MB data for one day at Rs 19 – compared to WiFi Dabba, this price seems quite high.
“Data cost in India is very high at present. We believe that even after the launch of Jio there is a lot of room for price wars to happen and we are certain that we can drop the prices even further,” says Wifi Dabba, cofounder, Shubhendu Sharma.
WiFi Dabba Plans
WiFi Dabba has total three data plans as of now. The website of the company lists these three data plans – 100MB for Rs. 2, 500MB for Rs. 10 and 1GB data for Rs 20. All these tokens are available at local bakeries and tea stalls and come with a validity of 24 hours.
To use WiFi Dabba data, users have to log in with mobile number and enter the OTP sent on their phone. Next, they have to enter the token key, and they will be connected to the Internet. According to the company, rolling out prepaid packs is obvious as over 90% of people in India use a prepaid connection.
Currently, WiFi Dabba services are only available in Bengaluru city and the company claims to have set up close to 350 routers (or dabbas as they call it) powered by fiber optics across the Bengaluru. The company planning to roll out its network of fiber optics across India soon.
WiFi Dabba takes help of local operators to lay down fiber cables across the city. Each of its Dabbas or routers provide data at a speed of 50 Mbps in a radius of 100-200 meters with licensed ISP. It typically takes about seven days for WiFi Dabba to roll out a new connection, and they are working to reduce the time period to 3 to 4 days. Further, the company claims to have more than 1800 connection requests in-waiting.
Price wars in the Indian telecom sector have become more intense after the entry of Reliance Jio. Now, it seems Jio is charging significantly higher than that provided by WiFi Dabba. However, it is to be noted that the Jio plan comes with free voice calls, SMS, and access to Jio apps as well. WiFi Dabba, on the other hand, offers only data services.